Looking Back

It’s been a couple weeks since my last post.  I missed my weekly update last week as I was on vacation with the wife in Reno, NV.  Since today is the last day of the first half of 2013, rather than just do my weekly round-up, I thought it would be a good time to take a look back at the first half of the year.  Reflect on where I was coming into the year and where I am now.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably have already seen this video:


This was kind of my coming out party.  It was a look back at 2012 through pictures.  Even today, this video is a reminder of how far I have come in a pretty short period of time.  I want to never lose sight of that.

Since I had my weight pretty much under control at the beginning of the year my mind was beginning to turn towards my upcoming races.  At the beginning of the year I didn’t have much planned as far as races go.  I had the Resolution Run 5K coming up and then my big target races of Portland Rock n Roll Half Marathon and Portland Marathon.  Boy how things changed quickly!

My last 5K was in the fall of 2012.  I eclipsed the 25:00 mark and was thrilled with that. It was the goal time I had set for myself for the year and once I did that I moved on to other events.  I knew just from the fact of how many miles I had logged, and by breaking 49:00 in a 10K race in October, that I should easily set a PR in the Resolution Run.  I spoke it and claimed to everyone that I was going to break 23:00.  I felt that was a strong enough goal to make me work hard and push the limits of my training.  Guess I should have had a little more faith in my training as I went 21:15!  I was honestly floored by my time.  I never imagined I could run that kind of time.  Of course, me being who I am, I immediately started wondering how much faster I could go.  At this point I set a goal of breaking 20:00.  I signed up for a few more 5Ks and increased my speed training.  I had some good races, but 20:00 was just not in me at this point.  I did get my PR down to 21:03, which I’m very satisfied with.  I will make another attempt at the 20:00 barrier in 2014.

Me coming into the finish line of the 2013 Resolution Run 5K.  The expression says it all!


This is me getting my first race bling! Notice the expression is a little different! I was addicted to bling at this point.  I was 5th (or was it 7th?) overall and won my age group!  Yay for being old!


My first big target race for 2013 was the Portland Rock n Roll Half Marathon.  I signed up for this race in October, seven months in advance.  I ran my first half marathon in September and even though it was very challenging, I really enjoyed it.  My first half was 2:00:42 on a very hilly course.  I knew Portland would be a much easier course.  At the time I signed up you had to put down your expected finish time.  At that point I felt 1:45:00 was a good goal to strive for.  Once I started putting up some of my 5K times and plugged those into calculators, I knew that target time was probably a little slow.  But given that I hadn’t really picked up the mileage yet I still wasn’t sure what I could do.

The same race organization that put on the Resolution Run was doing an inaugural half marathon in April.  I was scheduled to go 12 miles on that day anyways so figured I would get a good idea of where my training was and pick up some race bling in the process.  My goal for Blooms to Brews was my original 1:45:00 time.  That was a solid 8:00 per mile pace.  Figured if I could hit that and feel like I had something left in the tank then I would let it all loose the next month in Portland and see what I could do.  My full review is below but let’s just say I blew away any expectations I may have had with a new PR of 1:37:28.


This is me coming into the finish line of Blooms to Brews.  Great picture by my wife!


I knew that Portland RnR was going to be a more challenging course.  There is a hill mid race that is about a mile long.  My goal was to simply PR (isn’t that always our goal?) and if I was having a good day maybe shoot for something close to 1:35:00.  The course was definitely more challenging, probably more so than I had expected.  The hill mid race seemed to go on FOREVER.  But I had another great race.  I set another PR with a time of 1:36:51.  What I’m most proud of from this race is how I did in the second half.  3 of my top 5 fastest mile splits were in the second half of the race.  My last 5K was actually faster than my first 5K and was only a little over a minute off my 5K PR.  I probably could not have run a better overall race.

Just how happy was I with my race?


Shortly before running Portland RnR I had come across this thing called Half Fanatics.  Basically, you run a certain number of half marathons within a certain time period and you qualify to be a member.  Along with Blooms to Brews and Portland RnR, I was signed up for a half marathon in July.  One of the Half Fanatics qualifications is three half marathons in 90 days.  Mine were 91 days apart.  So obviously I needed to sign up for a half marathon in June!  I started poking around on the internet and found the Vancouver Marathon that had a half marathon option.  As a bonus, I found that Bart Yasso was going to be there. I follow Bart on Twitter and Facebook and see him mentioning his shake out runs frequently. I could not pass up this opportunity. Running with Bart Yasso and competing in the Vancouver Half Marathon has definitely been one of the highlights to my year so far.  The course ended up being more challenging than I anticipated (thought it was going to be MUCH flatter for some reason) but I still had a great race.  I set another PR of 1:36:15, placed 35th overall and much to my surprise I won my age group.  I look forward to running this event again next year so much that I’ve already registered.  Definitely check it out if you can!

This was a great run!


And since this was my last half marathon PR attempt of the year, I went all out for team neon!


I had a goal of running 1500 miles this year.  As of today I’m at 788.  In 2012 I ran 697.  Not too shabby for my second year of running!

That covers the first half of 2013.  I’m currently fully engaged with my Portland Marathon training.  The reality of that has started creeping in.  Have to admit, I’m pretty nervous.  It isn’t that I have doubts as to whether I will finish or not; I know I will finish.  Early in the year I set a goal for myself of not only finishing my first marathon but I was going to qualify for Boston.  I’ve always had a mindset of go big or go home.  Set “oh bleep” goals for yourself and then get after it! I’ve coined the twitter tag #C2BQ, essentially meaning I’m going from a 300 pound couch potato to Boston Qualifier in less than two years.

The training has been a little intense and my body is a little dinged up.  I’ve hired a trainer to help get me in better shape.  We have been focusing on developing my range of motion and overall strength, most notably in the posterior chain.  I have always known I’m not a very flexible person, but holy cow is my range of motion limited.  It’s a work in progress for sure.

The question I still get asked a lot; “how much weight have you lost?”  I was down to as low as 185.  I will admit I have put a little back on.  Not an alarming amount as I’m still fluctuating in the 190-195 range.  The biggest issue is dealing with being “rungry”.  This is a term you will hear runners use often if they are training for longer distances.  You’re running many miles and your body needs its fuel.  Sometimes it seems like you are in a constant state of hunger.  Between that and a little muscle I have put on with my trainer I guess it was to be expected.  I try not to stress over it but it is something I think about.  You never want to feel like you are slipping back into all of your old habits.

You can keep track of my craziness in a couple different places:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/healthyfourlife

Twitter: @teamneonrunning

Here is hoping each of you have a solid second half of 2013!

Happy Running



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